The best printers for college students should be small and affordable to print projects, flyers, photos, and even make some extra cash printing it for your fellow college students.
To make that critical decision on which model to buy can be not only daunting and intimidating but also tedious and unnerving. Several technical things need to be considered to ensure that you choose the best printer for college that will adequately address your study needs and preferences. This can be tiring and overwhelming. If you don’t have the time to understand all the complex, dull and intricate jargon of printers but still want to make an informed decision, the buyers guide at the end of this article, and this review is done for you.
Best Printers for College Students at a Glance
- Brother HL-L2340DW
- HP ENVY
- Samsung SL-M2026W
- Epson Expression Home XP-32
- HP Laser Multifunction Printer
- Epson EcoTank refillable 3-in-1 inkjet printer
- Our top pick: HP OfficeJet
- Epson 4-in-1 printer
- Canon PIXMA
The Best Printers for College Students 2021 Reviewed
1. Brother HL
If you are looking for an affordable but fast printer for college, the Brother HL-L2340DW might be the one for you. It is a monochrome laser printer designed and manufactured by Brother, a company that has stood the test of time and passed.
On the table, it brings an impressive print speed of 26 pages in under a minute and clean and excellent print quality. You can get the identical model for extra dollars but with a faster print speed of 30 pages/minute. However, this is not ideal for college students but is quite interesting for professional use, mainly because of the large paper cassette, which holds 250 sheets.
You will be impressed by its automatic document feeder and duplex printing capability, allowing even large quantities of documents to be processed on both sides and quickly. This saves paper and significantly reduces the load when printing documents with many pages in terms of weight and volume. Since the device can print only black and white, it is particularly suitable for use as a document printer in the office or home use and college students.
With a resolution of 2,400 x 600 dpi, even prints with many gray shades are clean and easily recognizable, and even the conversion of color graphics produces acceptable results. The printer can be put into operation via USB or WLAN, which means that it can be controlled easily via various channels iPrint, AirPrint, and Cloud Print.
2. HP ENVY
If you love printing photos as much as you like storing them on your smartphone or laptop, this photo printer of engineering is ideal for you. Moreover, the HP ENVY will come in handy if your study line involves a lot of photos, pictures, and images. In other words, it is optimized for photo printing. I mean, besides other cutting edge features, it comes with an impressive 5.5cm mono display perfect for processing photos.
Overall, this photo printer’s slim design is as appealing as the well-functioning Randlos photo printing function. Compared to models in a similar price range, the HP ENVY 4520 inkjet printer prints up to 6 pages/minute in color (depending on the resolution), which is relatively fast. At the same time, it processes black and white prints at 9.5 pages/minute, still a quite decent speed for an inkjet printer. Therefore, the printer has a display panel and can be easily operated without a PC for scans or copies. The ability to print photos with a high resolution of up to 4,800 x 1,200 dpi will also impress college students who are into photos.
The wireless printing control works very reliably and fast. This makes it possible for you to send and print photos and documents directly to the printer without wire connections.
3. Samsung SL
If you swear by the brand Samsung, this particular model has a lot to offer. The Samsung SL-M2026W distinguishes itself from the competition with an excellent price-performance ratio, a good print quality, and a fast speed. I mean, with 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and a speed of 20 pages under a minute, it is ideal for college students who are looking for a simple printer without having to compromise on print quality and speed.
Unlike other laser printers, this laser printer also has a 150-sheet capacity paper cassette, making it easy to set and use in your apartment or dorm room. Duplex printing is also on board, but only manually, meaning that each page must be inserted twice. Besides, the software is simple and clear to understand and use, while mobile printing options are also crisp, and it´s easy to connect. At only 4 kilograms, the printer is very light and compactly built, making it ideal for placing on your desk and still saving space.
Overall, the SL-M2026W from Samsung is a low-cost, compact black and white laser printer with fair print resolution and money value.
4. Epson Expression
If you can’t sacrifice functionality but don’t have the money to spend on an expensive multifunctional printer for a college student, why not consider the Epson Expression Home XP-32? Besides being affordable, it comes with most of the features of high-end printers. To be precise, this inkjet multifunction printer prints with a decent resolution of 5,760 x 1,440 dpi at an impressive speed of 15 pages in color and 33 pages in black ink per minute.
The LCD-Touch-Display on the Epson Expression also makes it easy to set and effortless to operate the printer. This makes it possible to print photos, documents, and photocopy without having a laptop or desktop.
If you are looking for a cheap multifunctional model, the Epson XP-332 is undoubtedly a worthy contender.
5. HP Color LaserJet
Looking for high performance? Well, the HP Laser Multifunction Printer is a powerful 4-in-1 color printer with JetIntelligence technology. It also supports a wide array of wireless functions, including duplexing, Google Cloudprint, Apple AirPrint, and HP ePrint. What makes this printer the best laser printer on our list?
With the 250-sheet drawer, the fast printing multifunction color printer offers a large volume of sheets. Its printing speeds of 21 pages a min for black-and-white and color also speaks volumes for this high-performance printer from HP. The printer delivers results that are of high quality, and the memory is perfectly acceptable at 256 megabytes, which allows fast and quality print results.
Operating the printer is also very easy to use via the intuitive touchscreen. All the functions of the printer can be controlled via the display. The HP laser printer’s monthly recommended print volume is between 150 and 2,500 pages, with a maximum printable volume of 40,000 pages a month.
Another advantage that the color laser printer brings is the four individual LaserJet toner cartridges: Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. These are already preinstalled when the printer is shipped. Regarding price, HP’s multifunctional printer is one of the more expensive printers in our comparison but worth every penny if your heart melts for performance.
It is also equipped with HP’s ePrint feature. If you need to print your photos and documents remotely, the ePrint feature makes it possible. And with it, you do not need to connect your computer or mobile devices via a cable to the printer but issue commands via e-mail or an app. The free ePrint app helps you print from mobile devices. All these features make this printer the best laser printer on our list.
6. Epson EcoTank Inkjet Printer
Looking for a multifunctional printer with all the new features and capabilities? If so, Inkjet printers may have what you are looking for. This model has a lot to be desired and admired. The Epson EcoTank refillable 3-in-1 inkjet printer gives you an extraordinary advantage that sets this printer apart from other competitors.
The printer is equipped with a large, refillable ink tank. A particular container collects the remaining ink and can be replaced if necessary. When the ink runs out, you do not need to replace the ink. Refill the appropriate container.
What exactly is the Epson ink tank technology? This ink system is an exciting alternative to traditional ink cartridges. Unlike traditional printers, it has four built-in tanks that you fill with ink. The advantage lies in the higher capacity of the tanks compared to conventional cartridges. Thanks to this design, you not only save money but also protect the environment. Also, it comes with ink for three years, which means printing up to 11,200 pages in color.
The refillable ink tank means that the printing costs are meager. According to the manufacturer, you can reduce printing costs by 74 percent. The paper tray holds up to 150 sheets, while the print feeder is designed for 35 sheets. Epson gives 12 months warranty on this printer. As a 3-in-1 printer, the Epson can print, scan, and copy – this device does not have a fax function.
Duplex printing and borderless printing also feature that the Epson inkjet printer brings. Thanks to the Ethernet interface, you can integrate the printer into the network. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct offer faster printing with your mobile device or tablet.
7. HP All-in-One Printer
This HP Instant Ink printer is one of the best printers for college students on the market. The HP OfficeJet is a multifunction printer that can fax, print, scan, and copy. Therefore, this inkjet printer can be used in a multifunctional manner and can serve well for study and office purposes.
With HP Wireless Direct technology, it is possible to print directly from your smartphone or tablet. The touch display allows a user-friendly operation and impresses with a straightforward menu control.
With HP Instant Ink, you can save up to 70 percent on ink costs and eliminate ink bottlenecks. The printer automatically orders the necessary ink once they are worn-out and are delivered directly to your home. This functionality is available free of charge for the first three months after purchasing the multifunction printer.
With HP Instant Ink, you do not have to pay an annual fee, and you can change or cancel your service plan at any time at no additional charge. A clear advantage of this system is the ability to print up to 15 pages per month for free.
The print speed is 8.5 pages in one minute for black ink printing and six pages in under a minute for color printing. Thus, this multifunction printer is not quite as powerful as the previous laser printer from HP. But the HP OfficeJet is reasonably priced and one of the cheapest printers in our comparison. Automatic 2-sided printing is not an option. All these features make the HP offset to one of the best printers for college students.
8. Epson WorkForce Inkjet
The Epson 4-in-1 printer is a device for printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. With a print speed of 18 pages per minute in color and 34 pages in black, the printer is relatively fast and powerful.
According to the manufacturer, this model qualifies for the company’s program, ReadyInk. The inkjet cartridge ReadyInk delivery system is one of many printer-client loyalty programs.
After a one-time registration, you will report your average estimated need for ink cartridges and automatically receive a new shipment. The subscription can be canceled at any time. The print volume recommended by Epson is 3,000 pages each month. The ink cartridges are individually interchangeable, so the printing costs are low.
Connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct make the Epson printer a wireless connectivity printer that does not need a router. The automatic document feeder for copying, scanning, or faxing holds up to 30 pages.
9. Canon PIXMA
For a college student, the Canon PIXMA is a convenient small multifunctional device that combines a printer, scanner, and copier. The small size and strict design make the device suitable for a college student since it consumes very little space.
A distinctive feature of the Canon Pixma is the front panel with transparent “windows” through which ink containers are visible. Continuous feed technology saves ink consumption—besides, this large printer volumes in multi-color and black-and-white.
The Fine printing system ensures an even distribution of colored pigment on paper. Thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi module, the Canon Pixma printer supports wireless printing. With the help of cloud services Canon PIXMA Cloud Link and Google Cloud, you can print photos directly from Facebook and Instagram.
An essential feature of the Canon Pixma is the ability to connect with smartphones and tablets. Printing one photo from the network takes no more than 1 min. Copier and scanner work at the same speed.
6 Things to Consider When Buying a Printer for College
1. The Workload
As a rule, an average student in 2 years uses one or two packs of paper. This is somewhere 500-1000 sheets. You also need to determine if you are looking for a color or b&w printer. After establishing the need, you can then go ahead and consider the following technical factors.
2. Printing Technology
These are compact and inexpensive devices that print well both in black ink and in color. If you are going to print mostly photos, then it is better to take an inkjet printer. The printing technology consists of spraying drops of paint through the nozzles of the printer heads.
A Laser Printer
The initial cost is higher than that of inkjets. However, the price of each printed page is meager. You do not have to refill the printer every month and a half since the average toner life is 1,000 pages. Printing is carried out with powder paint, which is contained in the toner. If you need to print many reports, abstracts, and other documents, then a laser printer is the most economical and least problematic solution.
You do not need to clean anything, and the pages are printed very quickly. There are color laser printers, but they are not suitable for photo printing since they transfer basic shades to paper. But with the printing of diagrams, graphs, and other simple illustrations, they will cope with a bang.
This uses the process of sublimation, the transmission of the ink from solid to gaseous state, which is then printed on the paper. The technology provides very accurate color reproduction but is expensive. This is an option for an enthusiastic photographer who wants to organize an entire studio for photo printing.
3. Color or Black & White?
Students and office workers usually deal with printing black & white documents. If you are in this category, a laser printer will come in handy. If you will print color images often, then it is more cost-effective to choose a color inkjet printer with CISS. Printing color is one of the most important printer parameters, so it is essential to think through what you will be printing before making the purchase.
4. Paper Size
Most non-commercial printers print on A4 paper, and more is not needed in 98% of cases. Therefore, it is not necessary to bother with this parameter unless you need to print large drawings. In this case, it is better to pay attention to printers that can print on A3 paper.
There are professional office printers that also print on A2 and A1 papers. Moreover, paper trays are also different. For a student, one that accommodates a small number of pages is suitable – 50-150, and for an office, it is better to choose a more spacious option.
5. Print Speed
If you are going to print a lot and constantly, then save nerves and save time, it is better to take a device whose printing speed (measured in pages/minute) is higher. Even the simplest laser printer will not make you nervous – it prints very quickly. With inkjets, everything is less fast.
The fact that there are multifunction devices that can not only print but also copy and scan. These are such popular devices that we often mean a good printer + scanner + copier when we talk about printers. Additional features include: Automatic two-sided ability to connect wireless networks, fax, noise level